These days, we can all stand to be a bit more environmentally aware. By making a few changes to your daily routine, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
6 Sustainable Living Ideas To Consider
by Kristin Bruce and Carla Boss
Support Brands That Consider Their Packaging
Take a peek inside your rubbish and recycle bins. See all the discarded packaging? Think about your repeat purchases -- your toothbrushes, dental floss, and laundry detergent. The supermarket version of these items is unquestionably the most convenient but it probably is not the most eco-friendy. There are alternatives. Online retailer Public Goods offers biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes and organic refillable dental floss, body wash, and detergent. More and more brands are incorporating reusable and biodegradable packaging. Keep an eye out for them and give them a try when you find them!
Rethink Your Laundry Approach
Many of us still launder our clothes far more than necessary. There is a greener approach: If it doesn’t smell and it didn’t stain, don’t wash it! And when you do wash, use cold water and us organic detergent. Next, lessen how often you turn on your clothes dryer. You might be surprised at how much energy they require to dry a full load of laundry. If you have the space, hang your wet, freshly-laundered clothes on an outdoor clothesline. If you lack the space, note that indoor clothes airers are popular among those who live in tiny apartments or rainy climates. Be sure to allow for sufficient ventilation if you dry your clothes indoors! The perfect option might be a heated airer.
Think Twice Before Starting the Ignition
Do you really need to drive a car to get everywhere? Weekend brunch, church, and night school classes can offer an abundance of carpool opportunities! For those of us who live in large metropolitan areas, public transport is definitely the green way to go. In the United States alone, rapid underground transit, light rail, and buses conserve 37 million tons of carbon emissions!
Keep a Copy of Your Region’s Recycling Guidelines
This one seems obvious, but it’s probably the most overlooked. Many of us mindlessly sort paper, glass, batteries, and other materials without realizing that recycling policies vary from city to city. Effective recycling requires you to know how to sort materials and what you are actually able to recycle. To learn more about your area’s procedures, visit your local municipality's website and print out a recycling chart for your entire household to follow.
Find Washable Versions of Single-Use Purchases
Single-Use products take up considerable space in our landfills. Instead of buying Swiffer mop pads, try making your own washable version out of cloth. Swap out Clorox wipes and paper towels for rags. Make-up lovers can save a lot of money by replacing make-up removers with make-it-yourself washable cotton cloths. The creative alternatives are endless.
Lastly, Consume Fewer Animals
...And eat more plants! Our food consumption and meal choices impact our planet in major ways. You can start being more environmentally thoughtful as you plan your next meal or grab your midday sandwich. Eat green, get lean, and stay keen. (More on this in a future blog from our designer, who has adhered to a vegetarian/pescatarian diet most of her life.)
Sustainable living need not be complicated. You don't have to be a radical tree-hugger to be kind to the environment. Think of it as an exercise in consideration. The more you do it, the easier it will become -- as natural to you as any other habit. Which one of the above sustainable living ideas inspires you most? Comment below!